Halifax-based DMF Medical has received a Class II medical device license from Health Canada to sell its memsorb carbon dioxide filtration device.

Memsorb is a next generation CO2 removal system for general anesthesia. The product is designed to improve the process of removing carbon dioxide from the system that puts patients to sleep during operations by using membrane technology rather than a chemical reaction.

“We are thrilled to have been able to develop this first-of-its-kind technology in Nova Scotia, and are eager to share it with our colleagues across Canada and around the world,” Michael Schmidt, Founder and Chief Medical Officer, said in the statement.

In an earlier interview with Entrevestor, Co-Founder and Director of R&D Florentin Wilfart said that in the traditional process, a patient inhales a vaporized anesthetic mixed with oxygen, and exhales a combination of oxygen, anesthetic, carbon dioxide and toxins. It passes through a chemical filter to strip out the toxins and CO2, and then feeds it back into the stream of gases being delivered to the patient. Because anesthetics are expensive, the filtered exhalation is used again to get maximum use out of the anesthetic.

There are problems with this “anesthetic loop” because the chemical reaction used to remove CO2 can produce compounds that can be harmful to the patient.

The process also releases CO2 and chemicals into the air, so the impact worldwide on the atmosphere is equivalent to the production of 4.4 million tons of CO2 a year. And the residue chemicals produce 115,000 cubic metres of solid waste a year that is expensive to dispose of. In most operating rooms, the chemical canisters must be replaced daily.

Memsorb’s membrane filters out CO2 and toxins, creating no chemical reaction. The product lasts for several months and is recyclable. The only thing it needs is a stream of oxygen, which is available in any operating room.

In its statement, the company thanked the funding partners who have supported it during Memsorb’s long development and testing process.  (In 2011, DMF competed in the first BioInnovation Challenge, the region’s main life sciences pitching competition.)